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To configure the Files Comparison options, open the Preferences dialog box (Options > Preferences) and go to Diff > Files Comparison.

This preferences page allows you to configure the following options:
Enable file comparison in Author mode
When selected, a visual Author mode is available in the file comparison tool. It displays the files in a visual mode similar to the Author editing mode in Oxygen XML Editor/Author. This visual mode is available when both compared files are detected as being XML and from a recognized document type.
Ignore Whitespaces (Not applicable for the visual Author comparison mode)
If selected, before performing the comparison, the application normalizes the content (collapses any sequence of whitespace characters into a single space) and trims its leading and trailing whitespaces.
Note: If the Ignore Whitespaces checkbox is selected, comparing the a b sequence with a b, Oxygen XML Editor finds no differences, because after normalization, all whitespaces from the first sequence are collapsed into a single space character. However, when comparing a b with ab (no whitespace between a and b), Oxygen XML Editor signals a difference.
Two-Way Diff section
Default algorithm
The default algorithm used for comparing two files. The following options are available:
  • Auto - Selects the most appropriate algorithm, based on the compared content and its size (selected by default).
  • Characters - Computes the differences at character level, meaning that it compares two files or fragments looking for identical characters. This algorithm is not available when the file comparison is in Author mode.
  • Words - Computes the differences at word level, meaning that it compares two files or fragments looking for identical words. This algorithm is not available when the file comparison is in Author mode.
  • Lines - Computes the differences at line level, meaning that it compares two files or fragments looking for identical lines of text. This algorithm is not available when the file comparison is in Author mode.
  • Syntax Aware - Computes differences for the file types or fragments known by Oxygen XML Editor, taking the syntax (the specific types of tokens) into consideration. This algorithm is not available when the file comparison is in Author mode.
  • XML Fast - Comparison that works well on large files or fragments, but it is less precise than XML Accurate.
  • XML Accurate - Comparison that is more precise than XML Fast, at the expense of speed. It compares two XML files or fragments looking for identical XML nodes.
Algorithm strength
Controls the amount of resources allocated to the application to perform the comparison. The algorithm stops searching more differences when reaches the maximum allowed resources. A dialog box is displayed when this limit is reached and partial results are displayed. Four settings are available: Low, Medium (default), High and Very High.
Three-Way Diff section
Default algorithm
The default algorithm used for performing a three-way comparison. The following options are available:
  • Auto - Selects the most appropriate algorithm, based on the compared content and its size (selected by default).
  • Lines - Computes the differences at line level, meaning that it compares two files or fragments looking for identical lines of text. This algorithm is not available when the file comparison is in Author mode.
  • XML Fast - Comparison that works well on large files or fragments, but it is less precise than XML Accurate.
  • XML Accurate - Comparison that is more precise than XML Fast, at the expense of speed. It compares two XML files or fragments looking for identical XML nodes.
Algorithm strength
Controls the amount of resources allocated to the application to perform the comparison. The algorithm stops searching more differences when reaches the maximum allowed resources. A dialog box is displayed when this limit is reached and partial results are displayed. Four settings are available: Low, Medium (default), High and Very High.
Show pseudo conflicts
Specifies whether or not the file comparison displays pseudo-conflicts. A pseudo-conflict occurs when two users make the same change (for example, when they both add or remove the same line of code).
XML Diff section
Ignore (Some of these options are not applicable for the visual Author comparison mode)
Allows you to specify the types of XML nodes that will be ignored in the file comparison for the XML Fast and XML Accurate algorithms.
Ignore nodes by XPath (Not applicable for the visual Author comparison mode)
If selected, you can enter an XPath expression to ignore certain nodes from the comparison. It will be processed as XPath version 2.0. The XPath expression specified in this option is used as the default ignore instructions only when the application is started. If you enter an XPath expression in the similar option on the Diff Files toolbar, that expression will be used instead.
Merge adjacent differences (Not applicable for the visual Author comparison mode)
If selected, the application considers two adjacent differences as one when the differences are painted in the side-by-side editors. If not selected, every difference is represented separately.
Mark end tags as different for modified elements (Not applicable for the visual Author comparison mode)
If selected, end tags of modified elements are also presented as differences. Otherwise, only the start tags are presented as differences.
Ignore expansion state for empty elements (Not applicable for the visual Author comparison mode)
If selected, empty elements in both expansion states are considered matched (that is <element/> and <element></element> are considered equal).